Name: Tracy Scott
Business: Tracy’s Gourmet
Location Morrisville, North Carolina, U.S.
Industry: Food & Beverage
Reason for starting? In 2005 I discovered that I weighed 257 pounds. With this knowledge and a family history of heart disease, I realized that no one was going to change my situation for me. I had to do it for myself. This led to my journey of finding a better way to eat and changing my lifestyle. Incorporating more salads into my diet was the first step. However, I found that the salad dressings I enjoyed contained ingredients that were negating my new healthy-food eating behaviors. After reading tons of books on health, nutrition and wellness, I discovered that I had to eliminate certain foods from my diet. Eight years later, much healthier and with years of study in healthy food preparation and eating habits, I decided to help others transition to healthier lifestyles by launching my own gourmet specialty food line, which caters to those who want to eat healthier but not sacrifice great tasting foods.
How do you define success? I define success as being able to work without needing the money, so that I can focus on doing good things that allow me to have joy and peace in life to help my family, friends and those in need. That is a long winded way of saying I would like to never have to work for another company except my own, so that I can enjoy life and have fun while doing a lot of good. There are several ways that I see my business doing good in this world. I spend a lot time — more than my mentor would like me to — thinking about how I want to do good with my business. That is success to me. When I can wake up in the morning and go to work in my business, without needing the money, and doing good that helps make other people’s lives better, easier or less challenging, I will feel successful.
Biggest success: One of my initial goals was to have my products carried in a major retail grocery store. I am happy to say that I accomplished this goal in 2015, and my products are now carried in 21 stores. For years I researched the types of products that I wanted to make and bring to the market. They are all foods that I found myself eating as I transitioned to eating better and clean, while losing weight. In 2005, when I created my recipes and products, it was challenging to eat clean and healthy. However, today that has changed because of the increase in healthy food options on the market.
What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? My top challenge has been production and fulfilling large orders. After careful consideration and speaking with mentors this year, I decided to outsource production to a manufacturer. This will free up my time to focus on sales and marketing instead of maintaining production ourselves. As I grow, an additional challenge is building a team. Now that I am participating in a business accelerator, I am learning how to build a team and pitch to investors to grow and scale the business.
Who is your most important role model? I have two role models. The first was my great aunt Margaret because of her deep faith in God and tenacity. My second role model is Barbara Jordan. She was the first African American elected to the Texas Senate after Reconstruction and the first Southern African-American woman elected to the United States House of Representatives.
Edited by The Story Exchange